How can I write an article on a movie I haven’t seen?
It’s like this for me. Sometimes something will happen and instantly you realize life changed. How large or small the change isn’t the point. It’s the knowing of the change that is. And that’s what happened to me when I watched the trailer. My life changed.
I didn’t just enjoy the trailer. I was blown away. I was so blown away that I immediately contacted home-town friends asking if they might be able to connect me with the Director, Robert Krzykowski, aka -Bob. K. His creative genius slapped my face. I literally wanted to flip a table and run through a wall.
Bob, was gracious enough to communicate with me and provide an in depth piece of information concerning the thought process on a portion of the film.
Bob’s exceptional ability to utilize out of the box thinking has captured my imagination in a way that hasn’t happened since the first time that I read Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises.
Much of this movie was filmed in the town that I graduated high school from. One specific spot in the trailer was shot from the vantage point where I taught my younger brother how to shoot a rifle. In this shot you will see a towering bridge that has been destroyed. I asked Bob a direct question about that.
MATT: When you filmed the Gill to Erving Bridge, what were your thoughts?
BOB K: As a young man, Calvin Barr-played in two timelines by Sam Elliott (1987) and Aidan Turner (1940’s)-tracked Hitler across Europe until he caught up with the dictator and assassinated him in a manor that was occupied by Nazi high command. It is later explained that our history was not altered by this killing, but I won’t spoil how that works here.
In the film, the French King Bridge (among many Western MA locations) is briefly featured when Barr needs a peasant ferryman to escort him across a river because the Nazis were destroying bridges for tactical advantage in the war. In this shot, the French King Bridge is visibly destroyed with dangling train cars and twisted wreckage in the river with the help of a VFX matte painting by Mark Sullivan-who did key visual effects for the original ‘Robocop’, ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’, and ‘Apocalypto’. As a lifelong resident, I’ve always felt that bridge had a dramatic quality to it, and wanted to feature it as a fantastic element in the WWII section of the film. I look forward to seeing it back to normal again the next time I go fishing with Jon Hall. Correction. I’ll get some nibbles, and Jon will catch all the fish…
I enjoy giving credit where credit is due. I don’t know Bob personally, but he was good enough to gift me a direct statement. Here’s a specific reason why I believe Bob is a genius at his craft.
In the trailer you will see a fight scene. Keep in mind, I know Turners Fall very well. I know the region. It lives within me. And within all of its people. There is a toughness and grit to the people of the region that I believe is unique. Back to the scene- A man is being robbed. He gives his wallet. But as soon as a memory is destroyed, one he’ll no longer be able to feel in a tangible way, he was forced to again be what he no longer wished to be. Much like in the movie, Unforgiven. Sam Elliot performed this scene so well that I felt I knew him because I have been that man. And I don’t mean I felt I knew Sam. I mean I knew the man holding back knowing what he can do and knowing he cannot. And Bob captured this sentiment on a level that is abnormal and outstanding.
I am not saying, or assuming, this fight scene has anything to do with Turners Falls. However, the pride that it will bring, we will happily feel. I love Turners Falls and Gill. Even though I am no longer living there, I will always be a Gill-Billy.
The town thrived with excitement when the filming was taking place. Finally, someone took notice of it’s beauty. Thank you, Bob. What you’ve done is one hell of an accomplishment. I can only imagine the amount of determination you leveraged to make this come to fruition.
I purposefully watched the trailer only one time. I’m about to watch it again. And when I watch the movie, I hope there’s a table and wall.
ps, Years ago my older brother and I were kayaking on the Connecticut River in New Hampshire. Chris caught a large mouth bass. I watched. A boat hummed along, passed us, and came back. “Matt? Is that you?” Jon asked. Jon is a beast of a man who seems to enjoy water and likes to fish. I wonder if he’s in the movie. I’m not sure.